Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Does Colour Really Matter?

The Bag Lady and the Rancher went on a excursion yesterday. They wandered through the bush and came upon a dugout that was in the process of drying up. This has been a terribly dry year (the area where they live has been declared an agricultural disaster area), and they were shocked to discover how much the water has disappeared from this dugout. In previous years, it has been so full, it has overflowed it's banks.

That is definitely not the case this year. In fact, the Bag Lady was surprised to see shells in the dirt and mud along the banks. She has never seen freshwater snail shells before (click on any of the pictures to enlarge):

They wandered around and followed this dry beaver run for awhile:

And finally came upon the abandoned beaver dam:

Here is another dry run, leading to the same beaver dam:

When the Rancher crossed over one of the runs, he casually remarked to the Bag Lady the only words that he knew would strike terror in her heart. "Bear tracks":

These are pictures of what are probably the tracks of a black bear, although the Rancher said that the bear he had seen in the area previously was actually brown. The Bag Lady wasn't about to hang around to find out what colour the bear really was! As far as she was concerned, they had wandered too far from the truck and it was definitely time for the excursion to end!

They made their way back to the truck and the Bag Lady is really not all that disappointed that she still doesn't know what colour that bear was!


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't stick around, either!
Sadly, that is not what made the beaver leave his dam. I hope you get plenty of rain (but not too much) in the next few years, to make up for this drought.
Our area was declared an agricultural disaster 2 summers ago (the farmers were having to buy hay for their livestock) and the rains since then have replenished the land and its water supply.

MizFit said...

the bear and the drought.
we've had so little rain here everything is dead and brown (and yeah. Im one of the few peeps in my hood who actually heeds the DONT WATER YER LAWN admonition--my neighbors? not so much. I should take a pic of the brown carpet which was once grass around here :))

solarity said...

Even with all the rain we've had this summer, the pond that is half mine is still well below the level it was four years ago, when I first started coming out here regularly. It's not leaking, either.

No bear prints, though.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Leah J. Utas said...

The drying dugout is scary. Cool about the bear tracks although I can't say I'd want to meet the bruin face to face.
May I suggest a colour compromise and that it's a cinnamon black bear?

the Bag Lady said...

kcinnova - we have had drought conditions in previous years, but the Rancher said he has never seen it this bad here. (*note to self - learn raindance)

Miz - it doesn't surprise me that your lawn is brown - you've had that relentless heat for so long down there!

Mary Anne in Kentucky - at least that part is a bonus - the "no bear tracks", I mean! :)

dfLeah - yes, a cinnamon black bear is probably exactly what it was. (He said he thought it might be a grizzly when he first saw it, but the tracks are wrong, thank heavens!)

Charlotte said...

I remember living in bear country. Those animals seriously freaked me out - even though I never saw one outside of the zoo...

I think the drought is nearly continent-wide this year?

the Bag Lady said...

Charlotte - bears totally freak me out, too! We once had one wander through our our camp that scared the crap outta me!
The only place I've heard of that isn't affected by drought this year is Eastern Canada - they have had far too much rain, apparently!

The Fifth Sparrow said...

I enjoyed the picture of the beaver lodge. They facinate me.

The bear track was interesting from the security of my home.

Rancher would have been, "So this looks like it belongs to a ....whoa, where did she go?! Lookitthatcityslickerrun!!" if I had been along.

Geosomin said...

I Imagine wiht the dry year the bears are out hunting for berries. I know up at the lake this weekend I saw a black bear cub...and then promptly left as fast as my feet could move - I had no desire to see momma!
It's terribly dry isn't it? Here it's sort of backfired, NOW when peopel need to harvest (and I need to get painting done...) it's raining a lot. Sort of too late for the crops really. The lake was over a foot below normal and the river here is town is down about 2 metres!

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Those are some impressive tracks! I wonder what the bear was after.

Melissa said...

Golly, it's been so wet up here in the Northeast US. Even in my air-conditioned dorm room at Bard last week my drawing paper and music got all wavy and the towels wouldn't dry out. So sorry we're taking all yer rain, but we didn't ask for it!

Marianne said...

Well, at least the print was dry, so you know the bear wasn't waiting to eat you tasty Canucks.

Miz is making a great sacrifice, actually. If you can't water your lawn and it dies? It's gonna be a few thousand to restore it. It has been raining here for hours....

Hilary said...

Wow those are serious paw prints!

I sure hope you get some decent relief from the drought.

messymimi said...

Reminds me of the old joke about one person who asked if you can get fur from a bear, and was answered with "I don't know about you, but I get as 'fur' from a bear as I can!"

Crabby McSlacker said...

Love the photos. And some how you managed to perfectly capture the "uh oh" feeling when one sees fresh bear tracks.


Scrumpy said...

Wow! Another amazing adventure for the Bag Lady. I love it when you share.

Aleta said...

Just looking at those prints made me want to jump out of my chair and run! Holy Cow! Those are massive bear prints. YIKES!

the Bag Lady said...

Sparrow - I was a little nervous, I'll admit, after seeing the bear tracks.
Part of me wanted to crawl inside the beaver lodge, just to check out the housekeeping!

Geo - It should start raining here soon - harvest time is almost upon us!

BG - I think the bear was looking for a drink. There was a little puddle further along.... we went the other way!

Melissa - I'd gladly take some of that rain off your hands, if I had anything to say about it!

Marianne - it was hard to tell how fresh that bear track was, so I wasn't going to wait around to find out if he was still in the neighbourhood!

Hilary - I really hope it rains soon - it's getting a little desperate.

Messymimi - that cracked me up! And I totally agree!

Crabby - thanks! I was certainly looking over my shoulder all the way back to the truck.

Scrumpy - thanks. I am glad to share!

Aleta - those tracks made me want to run, too - but they say you aren't supposed to run away from bears.... or even their tracks! :)

Reb said...

Good shot of the snail shells sis...did you pick some up?

The drought is terrible though and the poor beaver being forced from his home like that.

Hehehe, you can tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly by their scat? The grizzly scat has bear bells!

the Bag Lady said...

Reb - LOL! I can now tell the difference between black bear tracks and grizzly tracks!
And yes, I did pick up a couple shells - two different shapes. I intend to clean them up and post a picture, if things ever slow down around here enough to find time to do it! They are very delicate, and I don't want to break them.

Cheryl Kohan said...

Oh. My. Gosh! I'd have had a heart attack if I'd been there!

It's been a dry summer here in Minnesota, too...our lake is down. I hope we get lots of snow this winter.

the Bag Lady said...

CherylK - we are hoping for some moisture soon - it's almost harvest time, so it's sure to start raining soon!